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Lead in Drinking Water - General Public

Flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for cooking and drinking.
Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, flush your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes cold.

Helpful Information:

Steps to reduce exposure from lead in drinking water
Exposure to lead at any level can be associated with adverse health effects.  Therefore, consider taking the following steps to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water.

  • Run your water to flush out lead.  Run water for 15-30 seconds or until it becomes cold or reaches a steady temperature before using it for drinking or cooking, if it hasn’t been used for several hours.  This flushes lead-containing water from the pipes.
  • Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula.  Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water tap; Lead dissolves more quickly into hot water.  Do not use water from the hot water tap to make baby formula.
  • Contact your water system or certified drinking water laboratory to have your home drinking water tested for lead. (Please note that the homeowner may be responsible for any costs.)
  • Do not boil water to remove lead.  Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • Use alternate sources or treatment of water.  You may want to consider using bottled water for drinking and cooking or a water filter designed to remove lead.  Read the package to be sure the filter is approved to reduce lead or contact NSF International at 800-NSF-8010 or www.nsf.org for information on performance standards for water filters.  Be sure to maintain and replace a filter device in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards to ensure water quality.
  • Get your child tested.  Contact your local health department or healthcare provider to find out how you can get your child tested for lead if you are concerned about lead exposure.

Water System Sampling Results
Most water systems test for lead as a regular part of water monitoring. These tests give a system-wide picture and do not reflect conditions at a specific drinking water outlet

  • NJ public water system sampling results may be found at NJ Drinking Water Watch.
  • You may also request a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) from your water supplier.

If you are uncertain who your water supplier is, look it up here

Who to contact if you are concerned?

  • Your Water System should be able to answer any questions you have concerning lead in your water supply.
  • Your health care provider (family doctor or pediatrician) can provide you with information about the health effects of lead and can perform a blood test for lead.
  • The NJ Department of Health website can provide you with information about the health effects of lead.
  • The National Lead Information Center at 800-424-Lead or the Safe Drinking Water hotline at 800-426-4791 can provide you with information on reducing lead exposure and the health effects of Lead.

What Steps is the Department taking to ensure the safety of public drinking water?

  • Determining water system compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule
    The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR)(56 FR 26460 - 26564, June 7,1991) is intended to protect public health by minimizing lead (Pb) and copper (CU) levels in drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity. Pb and CU enter drinking water mainly from corrosion of Pb and CU containing plumbing materials. It is applicable to all community water systems (CWSs) and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNCWSs).
  • Evaluating large water system compliance sampling

Private Well Owner Information

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Last Updated: August 17, 2017